Privacy, from who?

I’m interested in both some advice, and curious about others thoughts and practices…

As I’ve been reading more about privacy and downloading browsers and add-ons etc. I’ve been asking myself what/who I want privacy from? And I think the answer is, I don’t want big tech tracking everything I do and selling my data, and I don’t want the government knowing everything I do.

What then is the best way to go about this? Firefox and a few extensions? Avoid social media? what are some tips you would suggest to succeed with this goal?

I downloaded tor and was wondering what the point of it was, is it overkill to use tor to avoid big tech surveillance? why would I use it over a VPN and some extensions? What benefit is there in using tor if someone isn’t needing to get past censorship, criminal activity etc. When should I use tor and when should I use Firefox, VPN and add-ons?

I’m also interested to hear from others, who do you want privacy from? what steps do you take to achieve this?

Any advice, comments, stories are all appreciated!

I’m looking at the common threats page on PrivacyGuides

And I imagine the only ones that apply to me are mass surveillance, surveillance capitalism and public exposure.

In regards to extensions be sure to keep them to a minimum. The more extensions the more you stick out in a crowd. The only one I use is Ublock Origin. As for tor it may be a little overkill but it works fine and isn’t difficult so why not use it? Compared to a VPN it is much more “anonymous” and harder to track and the best part in comparison to a VPN is its free. For my threat model I just want to limit big tech tracking and hide ads as much as possible.


Something to consider is having different profiles or different browsers for activities that are tied to you publicly and not. There’s not much point in trying to hide yourself when you’re using your bank account in a browser, for example. Same goes for other services similarly tied to you.

So you could use an Arkenfox’d FF or LibreWolf for sites that know who you are anyway, and tor browser for others.

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Thanks for the reply. I hadn’t thought of not using many extensions. “More you stick out” to who? big tech?

Thanks, so if I were to use safari for YouTube, Google, Bank… would they not know what I’m doing over in Firefox?

They would not, assuming you don’t sign into the same accounts in FF.

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The people who run whatever websites you visit. For example using FF makes you stand out a lot compared the Chrome users but if you add Unlock Origin, Dark Modern Reader, Facebook Container, etc. Now you are a very unique looking visitor to those sites. Some would say “Blending in” is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of keeping eyes off you but not worth it to an extreme case for me. Like km not gonna use default chrome just to try to hide. I’d rather just use for in that case

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Well to a degree yes but if they see another “visitor” visit the same site or one that is owned by the same company using say an IPhone 12 pro with the same IP address then it’d probably the same person. Fingerprinting is very complex and very detailed one what info they glean from you and your devices

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Don’t stress it. It’s simple enough. Rather than thinking about threats, practice the common threat model given on PG, level up or down depending on your needs.

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If you run like brave or firefox and you setup different profiles to do different things. Would that be good or is it recommended to run different browsers?

I would suggest sticking to Brave browser with Multiple profiles as you want to Compartmentalize things.

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If the site you want to go to works sufficiently enough via Tor Browser, then that is the ideal place to start, then Firefox. If a website really needs/requires a Chromium engine, Brave is my go to.

Tor Browser is very inconvenient and slow. If your threat model has no need for Tor, then just don’t bother.

Like I said, it is the ideal place to start. If all people do was visit pirate torrent download sites and do bad stuff with them, then no legitimate traffic will ever arise from Tor and law abiding business would be forced to block them and then everyone else suffers from the loss of privacy and anonymity it provides.

Also, I did qualify for other browsers such as firefox and brave.

Firefox already has Total Cookie Protection to separate the cookies / local storage, just make sure ETP is set to strict.

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I do think Tor itself is useful in letting the cost of finding your real IP address much higher than the benefit, too high cost of identifying you that most of your actions will be “anonymous” per se, also, it use a different end node for each site as opposed to a normal VPN, so your IP on site A and site B will be different. For example watching a video lefting no evidence I have watched it, Tor Browser is too slow for smooth streaming so I use yt-dlp in a cli configured to go through Tor.

I need a translator on Tor. I know it’s not ideal at all but I need an instant translator which extension do you recommend?

Unfortunately I’ve never had much use for a translator so i’m not help there. Sorry!